We all know that the number one issue with tire safety is maintaining proper tire pressure. It also happens to be the number one issue when it comes to maximizing fuel economy. A new threat to safety relating to tires has recently come to light with the revelation that aged tires are being sold every day in the United States. These aged tires have been responsible for deaths and injury throughout our nation. It is shocking that no standard has yet been set for aged tires and it is time for the industry to test and set standards for the expiration of tire shelf life. There are tires being sold over 12 years after being manufactured. Common sense will tell you that these tires cannot be as safe as they were when they were manufactured since we all know that rubber loses its elasticity as it ages.
The industry in the U.K. has strongly recommended that tires older than 6 years of age after manufacture not be sold. Why is it that the United States does not have such a standard? It seems to us that common sense dictates that a 6 year standard is reasonable and we encourage you to be aware of this issue and to ensure the tires you purchase are not aged beyond 6 years at the time of purchase. Obviously, we recommend they be as new as possible so shop around if necessary.
How can you tell the age of a tire before you purchase it? There is a code on the tire that tells you the tire’s age. It is at the end of a series of small numbers and letters that, until just last year, were stamped on the inside of the tire, not on the outside as you might expect. The date code is at the end of this series of mysterious numbers and letters. The code reads as follows. Three digits indicate a tire manufactured before 2000. Obviously no tire with three digits should be purchased. Four digits reads like this. The first two numbers denote the week of manufacture. The second two numbers denote the year of manufacture. For instance, the digits 2404 indicate the tire was manufactured in the 24th week of 2004, a safe tire as far as its age. 4602 would mean that the tire was manufactured in the 46th week of 2002. Such a tire would be right at the extreme edge of a safe purchase. For full information you may watch a video report from ABC News at the following link. We encourage you to educate yourself for your safety and the safety of others as well as encourage you to deal with local reputable tire companies for your tire purchases. Please pass this information on to others so that they may be well informed also.